Top Ten Elder Fraud Prevention Methods

We all want to protect our loved ones from danger, but it’s impossible to be with them every moment of the day. And unfortunate as it is, scam artists see your aging Mom or Dad as an easy target, knowing full well that elderly individuals are more likely to fall for their scams. Elder fraud often goes unreported, but it’s estimated that over $40 billion is stolen from America’s seniors every year (1), and, due to a lack of proper senior citizen fraud protection in place, this figure is increasing. Families and friends are fighting back and providing their loved ones with senior citizen fraud protection tips and tools to combat these elder fraud scam artists.

‘If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is’ rings true in many instances. Law enforcement agencies often remark on just how difficult it is to bring elder fraud perpetrators to justice – once an investigator has begun looking into the scheme, the scammers are already moving on to another ploy. There’s just no way to catch them all, which means it’s up to you to help your parents understand and implement senior citizen fraud protection tactics and be on the lookout for people who wish to do them, their property, or their savings significant harm.

How can you help your parents fight back against elder fraud? Aside from a quick lesson in senior citizen fraud protection, a handy cheat sheet by all the phones or computers in the home is often the best way to avoid these common elder fraud tricks, which include the following top ten ways to beat the bad guys.

What to Include on Your Senior Citizen Fraud Protection Cheat Sheet

1. Avoid sending money or providing personal financial information. Be cautious who you disclose your bank account, credit card, and social security numbers to. Suspicious, but realistic looking checks made out for a considerable amount of money should be an elder fraud red flag. Your parents should know that if they weren’t expecting a check, it could be a fake. Tell your loved ones if they have concerns related to this type of senior citizen fraud that protection comes from asking someone they trust for help. Checks such as these are usually accompanied with directions instructing the recipient to call a phone number. The message tells the caller to send taxes on the money he or she just received through a wire transfer service. The scam, of course, is that once the recipient sends the money, their check bounces.

2. Do not speak at length with people who are unfamiliar to you – tell your parents to decline answering questions of a private matter over the phone, Internet, or at the door. Above all, the key to senior citizen fraud protection is caution. If a telemarketer who is pushing a product begins asking for too much information, tell your loved one to request the name of his or her employer, the address, and a phone number. If a caller asks to speak to the man of the house and there isn’t one, tell your mother never to indicate that she lives alone.

3. Do not sign any documents without reviewing them carefully. Your loved one can often be signed up for something he or she may not be interested in and begin receiving phone calls that solicit other products. If anything appears suspect, tell your loved one to contact his or her lawyer or a trusted friend immediately. Many elder fraud con artists will pose as door-to-door salesmen and try to sell your loved one something on the spot, introducing multiple new products and a whirl of paperwork that needs to be signed now and paid for to ‘secure’ it. This potential elder fraud ploy is dangerous, because the friendly salesman is no longer some distant threat with no face; he appears to be knowledgeable and trustworthy. Tell your parents one of the most important senior citizen fraud protection tools available to them is not to allow anyone into the home they don’t know.

4. Make sure to verify all claims. One of the newest elder fraud alerts is related to home construction or improvement, and much like any other industry, scams abound. The best senior citizen fraud protection tip in this instance is to use a well-known contractor in the area. Tell your parents to request references and contact the Better Business Bureau or the National Fraud Information Center if they’re unsure. Create a contract and make sure the work is carried out to the letter; a fly-by-night scheme will probably try to talk down the contract, but if it’s in writing, your loved one ultimately has more recourse. And if the contractor wants the money upfront, tell your loved one to move on to the next choice.

5. Reach out for help before investing or spending considerable amounts of money. Tell your loved one to call you with questions about any investment that involves a significant transfer of money or shares. In many cases, the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) can be a lifesaver; this organization regularly sends out information on the latest elder fraud schemes and offers senior citizen fraud protection tips as well as financial planning assistance and consumer rights, all of which can help your parents judiciously decide on various offers and purchases.

6. Shred all bills, notices, and personal mail before throwing them away. Information regarding your loved one’s financial situation is often retrieved by con artists from discarded mail that is not shredded (also known as ‘dumpster diving’). It’s all too easy for elder fraud scammers to get bank account and credit card numbers from statements as well as details on safe deposit boxes, ATM cards, addresses, phone numbers, social security numbers, and more. Remind your loved one that one of the most important senior citizen fraud protection tips is to tear up all mail before throwing it away. Or, better yet, give him or her the gift of a paper shredder!

7. Recognize predatory lending practices. This senior financial abuse and elder fraud practice, also known as loan fraud, is often perpetrated by mortgage brokers, appraisers, and home contractors looking for a quick buck. Seniors approach these seemingly knowledgeable individuals looking to refinance their homes, but are bombarded by fast-talking scammers who incorporate a must-act clause into the deal. In the end, your loved one will walk away with a high-cost loan with exorbitant fees totaling more than 5% of the entire amount. When talking with your loved one about predatory lending and senior citizen fraud protection tips, remind him or her that other tricks include pre-payment penalties, ‘flipping’ (when a loan is refinanced to generate fee income without providing any net tangible benefit to the borrower), mandatory arbitration, and other unnecessary additions. Don’t let your parents make this decision alone; help them be more informed consumers.

8. Avoid health insurance scams by identifying the red flags. Many lower income seniors rely on their Medicare health insurance, which is why many elder fraud scams originate here. Often, less-than-reputable medical equipment companies target seniors, offering free supplies in return for their Medicare numbers. Tell your loved one that the doctor must order and sign for all equipment and products before Medicare will pay for it. Remind your parents of the most important senior citizen fraud protection tips when it comes to health insurance, including never signing blank insurance claim forms, never providing unchecked medical authorization for billing purposes, always reviewing Medicare’s payment terms closely, never giving out their Medicare numbers to someone they don’t know, and verifying with their physician if they are unsure of a product or equipment that’s been ordered.

9. Bypass the ‘Sucker List’ altogether. Many seniors are eager to win something and often enter numerous sweepstakes, sign up for free magazines, or register for contests. Companies with elder fraud scam artists will keep records of these submissions, meaning your loved ones could end up on what is called the ‘Sucker List,’ making your parents that much more of an elder fraud target. This list usually contains not only people who the scammers believe to be a good target, but have already been successfully targeted before.

10. Just hang up. Scammers know that senior citizens are more polite, more trusting, and a lot less likely to hang up when the call becomes personal; unfortunately, elder fraud con artists take full advantage of this fact. Tell your loved one that if he or she doesn’t know the caller and questions regarding financial or personal matters come up, they can simply hang up on the caller with no questions asked. Hanging up is one of the simplest senior citizen fraud protection methods.

An Ounce of Prevention…

If your loved one has been a victim of elder fraud, please urge them to report it to the proper authorities. Falling for a scam is embarrassing to many seniors, making it one of the most under reported crimes. Their assistance in the matter can help bring con artists to justice and perhaps inspire other seniors to implement better methods of senior citizen fraud protection.

Another invaluable senior citizen fraud protection tool is helping your loved one sign up for the national ‘do not call’ registry to prevent harassing telemarketer calls. It’s a free service, and you can either call 888-382-1222 or register online at . Another website that offers helpful senior citizen fraud protection tips of its own – – helps fight against con artists by posting regular updates and information. Walking your loved one through potential elder fraud scenarios is as helpful as checking in regularly to go over financial transactions, bills, and emails as well as posting (in plain sight) the senior citizen fraud protection tips outlined above.

Ultimately, the only way to prevent elder fraud is through education, and this requires you to be firm on the subject, providing an insightful look into the various methods of senior citizen fraud protection. Caution is always the key to protection, and your loved one should be provided with a list of helpful sources to contact for additional information, including the National Consumer League’s Fraud Center, AARP, the Better Business Bureau, and Consumer Action. Above all, make sure your loved one always knows who he or she is dealing with in the course of transactions or investments. And, as always, it’s important to remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of ‘cure.’



Jill Gilbert is the President and CEO of Gilbert Guide, a website and comprehensive housing guide dedicated to solving the challenges of aging for parents and families and developing a working senior care plan. Jill brings extensive business experience to Gilbert Guide, authoring “Leading by Example,” a monthly column in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, the chief industry publication for long-term care providers. She is currently working on a new book, Gilbert Guide to Senior Housing (Penguin/Alpha Books, 2009), and has been interviewed for a CBS News special, was a key presenter at the Pennsylvania Assisted Living Association’s annual conference, and was recently interviewed on San Francisco TalkBack. Jill has been quoted in numerous publications, including The San Francisco Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News. For more information on quality senior care services, please visit

New York Search Engine Optimization | Steps For Effective Reverse SEO Campaign

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Maybe you’re a great programmer or IT professional, but marketing isn’t your thing. Or perhaps you’re a tech-savvy search engine marketer who wants a peek under the hood of a search engine optimized web site. Search engine marketing is a field where technology and marketing are both critical and interdependent, because small changes in the implementation of a web site can make you or break you in search engine rankings. Furthermore, the fusion of technology and marketing know-how can create web site features that attract more visitors.

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Just like search engine marketing does, reverse SEO protects the online reputation using a methodical approach. Step 1 is to identify the pages and sites that contain the negative comments about a company that are ranked on search engines under important keywords. These types of keywords could include the name of the company, employees or even products and services.

Step 2 of reverse SEO means it is time to analyze the ranking authority of the websites. This will help decide what tool are needed and how much effort is required to move the negative information off the first page of Google, Bing and Yahoo. A negative PR blitz that spreads around the social media industry, is much more difficult to stop or even slow down because it is not on a single domain that can be pushed down or even “hidden”.

Step 3 means it is time to start gathering the necessary tools and execute the reverse SEO campaign. Such tools could be fresh press releases that are optimized, a new network of competing blogs and sites, social media accounts and a social bookmarking program. Reverse SEO should include content syndication to build backlinks of high quality. Any Internet marketing expert will have the necessary tools.

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Reverse SEO Begins Before Negative Press Emerges

When it comes down to it, the best to time combat negative content is before it happens. How do you do that? Any strong domain will make it hard for negative PR to make it to the top of the search engines. This is due to the way that the pages link. Any page will rank high on the search engines if there are enough backlinks pointing towards it. Once it is ranked, it will be hard to bypass. Might as well get to the top first under your own keywords before anyone else.

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Reverse SEO Protects Online Reputations

In your online reputation management strategy, reverse SEO should play an important role. It really is very easy for angry customers, unhappy clients, competitors, upset employees, lazy bloggers or anyone else with a gripe against a company to tarnish the name. Most of the time its anonymous, which wont help if the legal route was an option. It makes the whole negative movement impossible to address in private.

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A well-designed, easy-to-navigate website is useless if no one can find it. If your company is going to succeed in the web economy, optimizing your site for search engine visibility is essential. In this book, four of the most noted experts in the field of search engine optimization (SEO) provide you with proven guidelines and cutting-edge techniques for planning and executing a comprehensive SEO strategy.

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Are you a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) newbie? SEO is very complicated when you initial begin and also the primary reason is, there is so much info on the Internet about it… and how do you know what SEO steps to invest your time on. Since SEO takes so long to propagate on the research engines, you are able to invest 90+ days working in your website and then realize that what you are doing isn’t working. That’s the worst feeling and will most likely make most people quit.

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Here are some typical mistakes:

Incorrect or irrelevant key phrases

Some don’t target the correct key phrases. I work with companies that send me key phrases that sound great, but in the end those exact key phrases may not get much research visitors. If no 1 is searching for a keyword, what will be the point of trying to target it? Also, some companies begin with key phrases which are too competitive. Do you want to compete against Amazon, Walmart or Goal? I know I wouldn’t in most cases. You will find methods to tweak the key phrases, maybe long-tail key phrases (3 or much more words), local key phrases (instead of “criminal attorney”, how about “New York criminal attorney”). Discovering the right key phrases will help in obtaining better outcomes together with your SEO.

Overusing Keywords

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NOT Making Unique Content

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Flash is great, but all flash websites don’t help out at all. Search engines will not be able to comprehend your website from an SEO standpoint if your site is totally flash. Some flash files are ok, but just stay away from 100% flash sites.

More Than Enough Images

Graphics are great, but words are better for SEO purposes. If you do have images in your website, make sure the title and other attributes for the images are all filled in. WordPress makes this easy when you upload or add an image to a blog post. Having optimized images inside your website will help in obtaining your images in Google Pictures. You are able to get a decent quantity of visitors from there. The only issue with Google Pictures is they don’t update their database for about 4-6 months, so you may be waiting for a while. But that’s also a reason to get things going today.

NOT Paying Attention To On-Site SEO

SEO starts together with your website. Several are so worried about building backlinks and creating social media accounts, which they forget about their personal website. When somebody comes to me, the initial thing I see if I can make their entire website a blog. If that’s possible it makes life much easier to have an optimized website. You are able to create a static house page and just create the actual blog in its personal directory. This will save a lot of time when it comes to SEO.

The Benefits Of Choosing Ergonomic Reception Seating

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Ergonomic designs are becoming increasingly popular choice for reception seating in offices and to find a great selection of waiting room chairs, it is a good idea to take a look online. Needless to say, the choices that you make with your reception seating are extremely important and you need to pick something that has a high degree of comfort whilst also looking eye-catching.

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